And I mean twice-baked. And we’re talking sweet potatoes. And peanut butter. I should just stop the post here. It’s almost too good of a cliffhanger to pass up. Phew, I said almost, which means you’re in for one of the best recipes you’ve ever read about. Think fluffy mounds of spice and honey infused sweet potatoes baked in a delicious, creamy and nutritious sweet potato skin.
You might remember me talking about the yam-peanut butter combination in this post. That’s right folks, The Color Purple is responsible for this stroke of genius. More specifically, Mr. ______ is responsible for the recipe. Despite his downfalls throughout the majority of the book as a father, a husband, and just as a person in general, he gets some bonus points in my book for coming up with a combination of yams and peanut butter to feed to sick Henrietta. Remember her? She’s the one who has to eat sweet potatoes every day so that she recovers from her sickness. Trust me, if these sweet potatoes were offered to me every time I got sick, I wouldn’t mind a few more sniffly noses in my lifetime.
Let me backtrack really quickly to Mr. ______ (or Albert) and talk about his transformation. It comes about the same point in the book as his brilliant suggestion about the sweet potatoes. Throughout the whole novel, he is selfish, abusive and seemingly uncaring. He’s mean to his wife Celie. More than that, he’s cruel towards her. Some of the scenes in the book are so hard to read because Celie is pushed past her limits by Mr. _______. He constantly breaks her down and still she stays quiet about how upset she is because she thinks it is better to be submissive and bear the hardships that are given to her. Now it’s hard to believe, but Mr. _______ redeems himself a little bit at the end of the book because he expresses genuine personal change. The dialogue is beautiful, so I’ll let his transformation speak for itself. And after you read the quote, the sweet potato recipe awaits!
“Anyhow, he say, you know how it is. You ast yourself one question, it lead to fifteen. I start to wonder why us need love. Why us suffer. Why us black. Why us men and women. where do children really come from. It didn’t take long to realize I didn’t hardly know nothing. And that if you ast yourself why you black or a man or a woman or a bush it don’t mean nothing if you don’t ast why you here, period.
So what you think? I ast.
I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, he say, the more I love.” (The Color Purple, Alice Walker)
Twice As Nice Double-Baked Sweet Potatoes
1 Sweet Potato
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt (plain)
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
1 Teaspoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Poke holes in a sweet potato with a fork. Set sweet potato on a baking sheet or casserole pan and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until relatively soft to the touch. While this is baking, mix yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and spices in a bowl. After the sweet potato is done baking, cut it in half. Use a spoon or knife to gently remove most of the sweet potato ‘meat’ away from the skin. Leave about half a centimeter attached to the skin. Scoop all of the potato into the yogurt mixture. Use a fork or a potato-masher to blend the potato with the other ingredients. It should resemble something like this when you are done mixing:
At this point, the hardest part will be resisting eating the mixture. Once blended, it smells like a freshly baked pumpkin pie drizzled in honey and peanut butter. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Anyway, after all the ingredients are mixed, scoop the mixture back into the sweet potato skins that should still be sitting on your baking sheet or casserole pan. The mixture will probably pile up to be higher than the shell. Don’t worry about patting it down. Bake the sweet potatoes again at 375 degrees or 10-15 minutes or until the fluffy mixture has browned slightly. Then, sit down and dig in.